Mobile food pantry feeds hundreds in Moody, Mo.

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 8:18 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 10:02 PM CDT
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MOODY, Mo. (KY3) - Center Grove Baptist Church, which has about 45 members, began working with the Convoy of Hope last August to help feed people who were hungry.

“There is a need in this community,” said Tonie Lott, a church member who organizes the food pantry. “We saw it when we gave our first food boxes out. We got rid of 880 boxes within two hours.”

The church began working with the Convoy of Hope last August, during the COVID-19 pandemic. When they realized how big the need was for food, they knew they had to keep it going. Now they work with Ozarks Food Harvest.

“The mobile foods are actually done just based on need,” said Casey Gunn, with Ozarks Food Harvest. “It’s a self-declaration. If they say they need the food, the food’s available for them. There’s no qualification.

Before the pandemic, Ozarks Food Harvest operated between 8-10 mobile food pantries a year. Now, they do about that many every month.

Wayne Burnett, 83, is a life-long Moody resident, and a member of Center Grove Baptist Church who helps hand out boxes of food. “I know several people that wouldn’t have anything at all if it wasn’t for this food harvest,” said Burnett.

Church member and pantry organizer Tonie Lott says it’s a community-wide effort. “We have the Lanton fire chief, who comes and helps,” said Lott. “We have a Bakersfield firefighter who comes and helps, and we have members of the community who come and pitch in and show their support.”

Moody resident Jerry Plachy said he appreciates what the church is doing. “It keeps me from going hungry,” said Plachy.

“We had one lady who told us she hadn’t eaten for three days.” said Lott. “That is so humbling to go home and see your food, and to realize that there are people in your own community, your neighbors, who have been without for days.”

Her daughter, nine-year old Jaydin Cullum, agrees.

“Absolutely,” said Cullum. “And why? Because there’re people who need help. I know that there are others out there who can’t get their food, who are starving, and that’s why I love helping.”

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